If you think, “I just can’t stick to a diet, I have no discipline,” it’s important to remember that chances are you actually DO have a lot of discipline. Do you: get up with your kids? Get to work? Pay your bills? While right now you may lack consistent dieting discipline, you are clearly capable of great feats of discipline in other areas. It takes work and practice but you can do it!
Remember, if you eat your food slowly and mindfully, you can get so much more enjoyment from it (even if you’re eating less!) then if you quickly wolf down food without really noticing what you’re eating. This weekend, take the time to SLOW DOWN and really enjoy every bite you eat.
Remember – you DO deserve to relax on weekends but you DON’T deserve to be overweight and feel badly about yourself, so you have to find other ways to relax that don’t have to do with food.
It’s never a situation in and of itself that causes you to overeat, it’s always your (sabotaging) thinking about that situation. This means that if you have life stressors that you’re overeating in response to, your eating can get completely back on track even if your stressors aren’t resolved once you figure out what your sabotaging thinking is and start responding to it.
If you’re in a bad mood and think, “I don’t care, I’m just going to eat,” remind yourself that overeating will only ultimately cause you to feel even worse because you’ll compound the situation by adding feeling guilty and badly about your eating. Ask yourself, “Do I want one cause of my bad mood, or two?”
Sabotaging Thought: This food tastes really good. Even though I’ve had enough, it’s okay to eat more.
Response: It’s not okay because eating more will mean strengthening my giving-in muscle AND taking in extra calories. Besides, at the end of the day my mouth won’t remember if I had 10 more bites, but my body definitely will.
If you’re hungry and debating between two options – one healthy and one not healthy – remind yourself that either way at the end of the meal you’ll be full. If you eat the healthy meal, you’ll likely end up feeling good about yourself and your eating, and if you eat something unhealthy, you’ll likely end up feeling somewhat guilty (and possibly sick).
If go somewhere this weekend that has free food, remember: it’s free in terms of money but it’s NOT free in terms of calories. Your body doesn’t know or care if you spent $100 on a food item or $0, it processes all calories the same.
If you make a mistake this weekend and think, “How could I have eaten that? I can’t do this, I should just give up,” remind yourself that one mistake in no way ruins your diet, but falling back into old patterns definitely will. Then recommit yourself and get right back on track.
Remember – you deserve to relax on weekends and you also deserve to lose weight and keep it off (and all the major advantages that come with that). This weekend, work on finding ways to relax that don’t have to do with food. There are many!
The Beck Institute Weight Management Program was developed by Dr. Judith S. Beck with Deborah Beck Busis, LCSW.
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in CBT.
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